Last week LOGIA Online posted an article by Pastor Lucas Woodford entitled “Third Use of the Law and Sanctification.” He offered a descriptive analysis of a “debate going among conservative confessional Lutheran circles regarding the nature and use of the Law, particularly its Third Use, as well as the issue of antinomianism and the sanctified life under the Gospel.”Read More
This book is to be praised for offering a new historical examination of the debate surrounding St. Paulʼs soteriology, especially in regard to the early church fathers and Martin Luther. Jordan Cooper engages the Lutheran tradition and catholicity in a spirited, critical way that serves a larger agenda: to critique the New Perspective on Paul by way of the Finnish Lutheran school of Luther research, specifically the work of Tuomo Mannermaa.Read More
Confessional Lutheran theology sets Lutherans apart from other theologies. What impact, if any, does this have on the parish pastor? How does Lutheran theology shape the daily work of the pastor? Particularly, what does justification have to do with parish practice? This question, Rev. Scott Murray suggests, could use some more attention. See below for an introduction to his thoughts on the matter.Read More
—by Jordan Cooper
If one were asked to explain the distinctiveness of Lutheran theology within the church catholic, one word would likely come to mind: justification. If one aspect of doctrine defines Lutheran theology over against other theologies, it is the centrality of justification by faith alone. This issue, described by Luther as “the doctrine upon which the church stands or falls,” was the heart of the conservative Reformation and remains so within churches of the Augsburg Confession. This being the case, it is surprising that the recent volume Justification: Five Views,1 neglects to include a Lutheran contributor. The editor explains that this is because Michael Horton’s confessional Reformed approach is thought to encapsulate confessional Lutheran approaches to the doctrine.2 Despite the similarities however, Horton’s essay fails to display the uniquely Lutheran approach to justification as it is expounded upon in Luther’s Galatians commentary and explained and defended in the Lutheran Confessions. This article is an attempt to bring a Lutheran voice into this dialogue, offering a unique and biblical approach to Paul’s theological concerns in Galatians and Romans...
1. James K. Beilby and Paul Rhodes Eddy et al, Justification: Five Views (Westmont, IL: IVP, 2011). Contributors to the volume of essays include Michael S. Horton, Michael F. Bird, James D.G. Dunn, Veli-Matti Karkainen, Gerald O’Collins, and Oliver Rafferty.
2. “Horton’s traditional Reformed view is functionally identical in all the significant theological aspects to the traditional Lutheran view.” Justification, 10.